Monday, 19 April 2010

Promenade Palavar

Yup yup!

bright and early(ish) on a Sunday saw Gym Ninja getting her running gear on ready to hit the great outdoors for a run. LSD run no less. That is NOT a drug induced run, but LSD stands for Long Slow Duration & is really useful for building up the cardiovascular endurance and training the Aerobic energy system.

Cap on (well, Gym Ninja feels exposed without her cap on when she runs outdoors), iPod plugged in, Polar Heart Rate Monitor on and off Gym Ninja went...out and down towards the Promenade.

Now Gym Ninja isn't a fan of running outdoors for the following reasons.

1.  Small children galloping towards Gym Ninja due to the lack of directional control they have of their legs, thus necessitating a quick swerve to avoid stomping on the small child.

2.  Dogs. Dogs taken onto the promenade and let off their leads to run towards Gym Ninja, bounding as they do so. There are the bouncy dogs who see Gym Ninja running as an invitation to play, and there are savage dogs who see Gym Ninja running as a request to fight to the bitter end.

3. Cyclists. Dedicated cycle paths on the promenade are nothing to the cyclists who much prefer to cycle in the pedestrian area. Deceptively quiet (especially when GN is plugged into her iPod) they suddenly RAZZ past GN, causing her to jump.

4.  Goggly Eyed Voyeurs. Now these are the people who act as if they have never before seen a person run, and stand there as you approach, staring at you. When you make them aware that you have noticed this, they do not act in the way any British person would (look away quickly), but instead continue to stare, right at Gym Ninja as she runs past them, and no doubt continue to stare as she runs into the distance. Makes a Runner start to wonder if they are running in an odd 'Phoebe From Friends' type fashion....?

5.  Meanderers. Those people out for a walk. A walk slower than the usual walk. Includes lots of snaking across paths and into your running line. Additional possibility of hand-holding between couples stretching across the runners path to take up maximum space.

So off Gym Ninja went, along the promenade, avoiding these 'traps' as she ran. Another hurdle is when, as a runner taking huge lung fulls of air, one runs past a dog doing a poo. Have you ever run past a dog doing a poo when it is 'oven fresh?' as it were? Ewwww!  'Icky sicky' & can induce retching. Gym Ninja had the misfortune to time a particular early stretch of her run with a rather large Rottweiler emptying his bowels on the pavement. Cue inhalation of poo vapour...


The morning was a tad overcast. Turns out it was most likely the volcanic ash currently plodding over the skies of the UK.  As Gym Ninja ran, she inhaled more & more volcano. Not good! Have you ever inhaled volcano? It's not recommended. Makes for a rather sluggish run. That and the poo vapour of course..

Half way into her run, Gym Ninja's Polar Heart Rate Monitor band started playing up. She'd forgotten she'd picked up the Medium sized chest strap instead of the small, and now the Band was snaking it's way slowly down her torso as she ran. How far down can a Polar Heart Rate band get and still pick up the heart beat? Well belly button level at one point! This meant that for the second half of Gym Ninja's run, she had to either clasp the band with one hand (making her look extremely unfit as if grasping at her chest pre-heart attack), or allow it to slowly shimmy down to her waist, before stopping and hauling it back up again flashing her midsection as she did so.  Grr. Nothing worse than a wardrobe malfunction mid-exercise as it can really disrupt the whole run.

The Promenade was quieter than usual. There were two plump ladies (and by plump, Gym Ninja actually means obese but is being polite) who were mostly walking, yet every now and then gamely broke into a jog. Good on them! Everyone needs to start somewhere. No one just thinks, 'Right, I'm going to start running' then flies off for an hour. This is probably a really good way of burning fat as the walking mixed with jogging is a form of interval training, and at their de-conditioned level it will have excellent results if they keep it up.

Only 2 dogs rang towards Gym Ninja. One all 'bouncy bouncy' nearly got booted in the teeth as it ran perilously close to GN's trainers. The other started to snarl and was 'reeled in' aka a big fish style by it's owner using one of those retractable washing line type leads before it could take Gym Ninja's leg off....Of course there was the incontinent Rottweiller  too, but GN is trying to block out that image in her mind...

In the end, Gym Ninja grew fed up of hitching up her wayward Heart Rate Monitor (which had now encouraged her bootleg bottoms to start gaping at the waist too making for a drafty experience) so headed home. But she missed her turning and found herself faced with a herrruge steep road to run back up. Great. Two older men stood by, doing the staring thing with interest to see whether GN would actually run up the mountainous road, or cheat & walk. How could Gym Ninja resist the challenge. RUNNNNNNNNNNNN of course!

So uphill Gym Ninja ran, (on her tippy toes to begin with at the steepest point), hand hitching up the Heart Rate Monitor, lungs half full of volcano and an audience of pensioners willing her to fail.

'Eat my volcanic dust OAPS!' Thought Gym Ninja as she powered up the hill to the top.

Then it was a 5 minute run up lesser hills to her home. Luckily no children had scrambled in front of her for the entire 50 minutes..that was until she was 2 minutes away from her house. Cue small toddle wearing a hoodie that obscured his vision, hurtling towards GN on a scooter(the foot scooter not a moped!). His father walked a mile behind (as fathers do-no sense of danger when a child runs or scoots on ahead have they?) watching the scootery spec that was his son aim himself at Gym Ninja. A quick swerve into the road (risking death by a passing car) meant GN managed to avoid a collision with the child, before rounding the corner and arriving home.

So, after stretching out and quaffing the Maximuscle Promax shake (yes, it is still important to fuel the muscles after a cardio session-it's not just for weight training) Gym Ninja went and showered, smug in the fact that she'd started her Sunday in a way her body would thank her for in many years to come...

Aww, didn't that last bit sound like a naff conclusion to a cr*p novel?

See you back here tomorrow. No slacking!

Gym Ninja x